Open access

A fundamental change in the academic publishing world that has exploded in the 21st Century. It’s the idea that at least some papers should be free to download from the web and the idea started with some good intentions to break the domination of academic publishing by the Global North and generally make papers available to all. Of course, the oligopolistic control of academic publishing by a few companies, and the huge profits to be made in an industry in which people write the material for free, peer review it for free and often edit the journals for free and where publishing costs have shrunk with online publishing mean that those companies have kept a tight hold on their control and the domination of publications by those organisations that have money by imposing fees for open publication on authors that put it beyond the budget of much of the Global South, of many of the smaller universities and research institutions in the Global North and of pretty much all truly independent researchers and practitioners. Deeply sad.

Details #

Slightly mitigating the impact of huge publisher fees for open access publication, most publishers (grudgingly?!) allow authors to share the “last accepted draft” of papers and/or to put those versions of a paper in some form of public access. Sadly this makes referring to quotes from a paper by page number difficult if one only has that version.

The preprint realm, in which large repositories promote open publication of draft papers that have not been through peer review can be used to get access to literature without fees. See for an example.

Some journals also move papers to open access after the lapse a period of time usually in years which is clearly good for access but maintains a huge advantage in the aggressively competitive academic world for those who can get access to things before that happens.

Qeios ( is another attempt to challenge the near monopoly of the big academic publishing companies. It is funded from a variety of sources and allows free submission of, and free publication of, papers which get “open” peer-reviewed by anyone who wishes to do a review (these are also invited by editors for the journal)>

Try also #

Open peer review
Peer-reviewed literature

Chapters #

No specific chapters but the ethical issues about equity of access and control of information run through the book.

Online resources #

None specific (other than links above).

Dates #

First created 13.viii.23.

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